Newswise — The New Mexico State University Board of Regents approved a new, linearized tuition model for students attending NMSU’s Las Cruces campus for the 2014-2015 school year as well as other budget guidelines for the 2015 fiscal year. The new tuition model will provide a financial benefit for students to take at least 15 credits per semester.
“We need to encourage our students to move through the system and to graduate as quickly as we can,” said NMSU President Garrey Carruthers. “Taking more credits per semester will not only allow students to graduate sooner, but they will have less debt when then leave.”
Under the new model, students will be charged $247.90 per credit up to 14 credit hours. Students taking 15 credits will receive a discounted rate of $219.10 per credit hour, and will not be charged for additional credit hours beyond 15. Previously, NMSU students were charged the same rate for taking between 12 and 18 credit hours.
“This new model will actually allow us to provide tuition relief for students who take 12 or fewer credits per semester, a group that includes almost all graduate students and some of our most financially challenged students, such as many students with families and children,” said NMSU Executive Vice President and Provost Dan Howard.
Under the new model, undergraduate students taking 12 credit hours per semester will see a 4.4 percent decrease in their tuition rate as compared to the previous year. This translates to a cost of $5,950 for the entire 2014-2015 academic year, down from $6,221 for the previous year.
Graduate students taking nine credit hours will now pay a rate of $4,822 for the entire academic year, a 4.2 percent decrease from the previous year.
The cost for 15 or more undergraduate credit hours per semester will increase 5.7 percent from the previous year. For a 15 credit hour course load, this translates to a cost of $6,573 for the entire 2014-2015 academic year. The same rate, $6,573 for the entire academic year, will be charged for all credit hours above 15.
Angela Throneberry, NMSU’s senior vice president for administration and finance, emphasized that students who take 15 credits per semester will graduate sooner than students taking 12 credits per semester and save an estimated $12,400, including tuition, fees, housing, board and parking, for a completed degree at NMSU, as compared to taking 12 credits per semester.
Students who take 18 credits per semester will graduate even sooner, needing an average of eight semesters to graduate. At this rate, students would save about $21,400, including tuition, fees, housing, board and parking, for a completed degree, as compared to taking 12 credits per semester.
The regents also approved increased rates for NMSU residence halls and apartments by 3.5 percent. Greek/affiliated housing and family housing rates would go unchanged. Meal plan rates for Aggie Unlimited, Aggie Choice 230, Aggie 64 and Pistol 400 would increase 3 percent. Family Resident Optimum meal plan rates would not change. Annual costs for parking on campus will increase $1 to $3 for students, faculty and staff, depending on the kind of parking permit purchased. Special parking permits will increase $6.
Regents also approved other budget guidelines for the 2015 fiscal year, including more than $8.1 million in new revenue. Of those new funds, about half will be devoted in compensation increases for NMSU faculty and staff.
Among the uses of the new revenue is about $2.3 million to be used as an increase in all faculty and staff compensation, funded through state appropriations as well as university funds. Another $1.5 million will be used for the second phase of NMSU’s market equity plan, an effort to bring faculty salaries closer to a competitive market level among NMSU’s peers. Another $1 million will be used for new faculty members to be hired during the next year at NMSU, $500,000 will be used for graduate assistantships and more than $460,000 new funding generated through the higher education funding formula will be used for research at NMSU. This is the first time the state has included research funding in their funding formula for the university.